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William Wallace Wotherspoon
November 16, 1850 – October 21, 1921 (aged 70)
William W. Wotherspoon.jpg
General William Wallace Wotherspoon, official portrait by Thomas W. Orlando.
Place of birth Washington, D.C.
Place of death Washington, D.C.
Resting place Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy (1870-1873)
United States Army
Years of service 1873-1914
Rank Major General
Commands held U.S. Army War College (1905-1906, 1907-1909, 1909-1912)
Army of Cuban Pacification (1906-1907)
Chief of Staff (1914)
Battles/wars Indian Wars
Spanish-American War
Other work Superintendent of Public Works, State of New York (1915-1920)

William Wallace Wotherspoon (November 16, 1850 - October 21, 1921) was a United States Army general who served as Army Chief of Staff in 1914.

Contents

Biography

William Wotherspoon was born in Washington, D.C., on November 16, 1850. He was educated in private schools and served aboard ship as a mate in the United States Navy from 1870-1873.

Wotherspoon was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to the 12th Infantry in October 1873. From 1874 to 1881, he served in the West during the Indian wars as a troop officer and quartermaster.

In 1887, while stationed in northern New York, he married Mary C. Adams.

After a year of absence from the Army for being sick, he became the superintendent and did much needed work to expand the Soldiers' Home in Washington, D.C. He then served at Fort Sully and at Mount Vernon Barracks, where he trained a company of Apache prisoners from 1890 to 1894. In 1894, he became aide to General Oliver O. Howard, commander of the Department of the East, and was the University of Rhode Island's first Professor Military Science and Tactics.[1] from 1894 to 1898.[2]

In 1898, while on recruiting duty at Fort McPherson, he organized the 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry. He served in the Philippines against insurgents and as collector of customs at Iloilo from 1899 to 1901.

In 1901, he was promoted to major and transferred to the 30th Infantry. He commanded the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry at Fort Leavenworth and then taught at the Command and General Staff College from 1902 to 1904. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel and assigned to the 14th Infantry in 1904 and later was transferred to the 19th Infantry and became the director of the U.S. Army War College from 1904 to 1906. Wotherspooon was the chief of staff of the Army of Cuban Pacification from 1906 to 1907.

He served as the acting president of the Army War College and chief of the Third Division, General Staff in 1907 and was promoted to brigadier general in October 1907, the became president of the Army War College, serving from 1907 to 1909 and again from 1910 to 1912. Wotherspoon was largely instrumental in transforming the Army War College from an adjunct of the General Staff to an autonomous educational institution, he became assistant to the chief of staff from 1901 to 1910 and again in 1912 to 1914. He was promoted to major general in May 1912 and served as the commander of the Department of the Gulf until that September.

He became the Chief of Staff of the United States Army from April 21 to 15 November 15, 1914 and called attention to shortages of officers and noncommissioned officers for Army missions, emphasized the need to reevaluate coast defenses to meet heavier-gunned battleships, saw establishment of an aviation section in the Signal Corps and the completion of the Panama Canal. Wotherspoon retired from active service in November 1914 and later was New York State Superintendent of Public Works from 1915 - 1920.

Major General William Wotherspoon died in Washington, D.C. on 21 October 1921. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

Notes

References

External links

Further reading

  • Wotherspoon, William Wallace (July 1905). "The Training of the Efficient Soldier". Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (Sage Publications) 26: 149–160.  
Military offices
Preceded by
Leonard Wood
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1914
Succeeded by
Hugh L. Scott
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